Being absorbed in writing a novel, I excluded myself from life, reality, phones and meetings. Day after day, I sat down on the veranda of my Hollywood house, in the shadow of eucalyptus and I wrote. I finished the work on my thirty eighth birthday and I gave a new title to the novel: A pilgrimage to the grave of wonderful Brigitte Bardot.
Lech Majewski The Official World Centre
THE PERIOD OF REBELLION AND GROWING UP
When asked whether in his childhood he already had leadership qualities, he denied firmly: No, quite opposite, because I was a rebel. We can find his childhood experiences in his
works, one of them will be shown in the recent film “The Wonderful Brigitte Bardot”, which he has been making in Katowice. The scenario to this film was based on the novel, the writing of which he described as above. He thinks it is the most important novel among his works and he touches his childhood and youth in it. The scene at school with the portrait of Gomułka presents realistically the event and shows the atmosphere of those times – The boy took out of his schoolbag a rotten pear – explains Lech Majewski – he threw it at his colleague, but it hit the portrait of Gomułka. This event wasn’t a political act, but it caused a real terror at school. Children at the film set completely didn’t understand the consequences that their peer at those time suffered.
He realized his youthful desire to enter the magical world of art by writing poems. Together with Andrzej Hudziak, no longer alive, they started in high school “The Theater of One
Moment” – Andrzej was a great actor, he starred many films, he was the favourite actor of Krystian Lupa and he became the leading actor of The Old Theater in Kraków.
Lech Majewski had his first exhibition of paintings when he was 15, in an old Empik bookstore in Katowice. He was attracted by arts, when he was a pupil of primary school, he
made friends with the neighbour from upstairs – a student of the Academy of Fine Arts – I talked a lot to him, I started painting and so I had that exhibition early. I also remember that I made a poster “The Olympics in Mexico”, I was 14 then, and I won the national competition. Then he also started publishing his poems in Poems, Culture or Radar. – Poems and painting were basic for my artistic development – explains the Master. – I was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts and almost at the same time to the National Film School in Łódź and I stayed there. I was looked after by the great Polish director Wojciech Has, who was my artistic mentor.
At the age of 22 he published the first volume of poems “Fairy Tales of the Thousand Nights and One city”. A year later, he wrote the scenario and directed the film The Knight. Various directions of artistic work started in the young ages, gave him a broader perspective and made his works unique, thanks to which he was noticed and invited to Cambridge in 1981.
EMIGRATION INTO GREAT ARTS
In England he directed on the Thame quite a famous play Odyssey based on Homer, which made the American film producer, Michael Hausman, invite him to work in the United States. In the USA Lech Majewski directed Flight of the Spruce Goose, The Rio Prisoner and Gospel According To Harry, and in 1995 he produced Basquiat, the cult film for everyone interested in art. The Master Majewski discovered Basquiat to us much over two decades before the currently offered commercial items, like socks with pieces of his paintings.
Living in a foreign country, let him make productions according to his own artistic visions, co-create the world known films and get experience in production – America gave me
a lot, it taught me a simple way of communication, brief and concise. I see differences between the Anglo-Saxon culture in American form and the Polish one – says Lech Majewski. – Here a lot of expressions are contrived, many words are meaningless: “as if, by no means, and in general, I would like to say, I think that in my opinion, no matter what we say”, and you could talk this way without saying anything. I am sure it comes from the tradition of servitude in Poland, where for so many years you had to hide the true thoughts and intentions, because for words themselves you could lose your head. Whereas in a conversation with the Americans, there is a telegraphic conciseness. I remember the times when I gave lectures on scenario writing at the University in Yale in the period when 16 Noble Prize winners of various fields were teaching there. I attended their lectures and now I may say about one characteristic quality: they spoke a simple language, they knew how
to present complex subjects in a simple and communicative way, so that a child would understand.
THE CULT ARTS
– I walk blindfolded through the dark and I tell about what I see and feel, what I love. Nothing is planned, because in life there is a bit more chaos than plans. This process reminds me of a tree growth – explains the director. – A certain expert of my artistic
work said that all my works are created from seeds planted in the early poems. He wrote that idea in a doctoral dissertation and I must admit that it seems right. A tree doesn’t think what to do, but it does what is written in its genetic code. A huge tree has its destiny written in a tiny seed. And this relates to both material and spiritual things.
The Master is often surprised by popularity of his artworks in distant places around the world. In Japan there are six fan clubs of Lech Majewski. He is invited to film festivals in South America as the guest of honor. There he finds out that young, south American film-makers know his works very well, which has become the cult cinema to them the moment it was broadcast on television there. He also was a few times in Iran, in Teheran, where his films are given unusual attention. On the Polish market of films, arts and literature, the author must be appreciated in the world first, so that the arts managers and sponsors – without being afraid of getting out of line – could present his or her works to a greater audience. In Poland, Lech Majewski is admired, and his achievements have become cult art, because the one who belongs to his fans, is sensitive.